When the director of my school asked me to help in setting up the internet infrastructure for the school, I was very shocked. I was then just a Class IX student preparing for my board exams. At that point, I couldn’t see how such an activity could help me in life, but now I do. Now I know coding is as important as reading

As we are moving forward into the future, increasing aspects of our lives are being integrated with technology. We don’t wave our hands to book a cab, we just use Uber. We don’t carry cash with ourselves as we use e-wallets like Paytm, Android Pay or Apple Pay.

E-commerce websites like Amazon and Flipkart are replacing our regular shops. The trend is too obvious not to be noticed.

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Technology is going to be very important in the future, but the technology of the future is likely to be different from today’s technology. For example, a student in 1990s couldn’t have been prepared for the smartphone technology. We cannot expect schools to prepare us for technology that doesn’t even exist currently. However, schools can prepare us for the future by familiarising us with technology of the present and by encouraging us to explore new frontiers of technology.

At the very basic level, we should be taught to explore our computer and not just scroll though the Facebook feed. When I was in Class VI, my school taught me to use MS Office. We learnt to make power point presentations and learnt to analyse data using excel formulas. Over time, I have used those tools in many occasions.

In addition, schools can give senior students the responsibility to maintain the technological infrastructure of the school. For example, me and my friends set up and maintain all the tablets and computers of our school. We even set up the internet infrastructure for the school. Since my school has over a hundred tablets and nearly a similar number of computers, we have to solve new and unique problems on a daily basis. That truly expands our command over computers and makes us more familiar with technology.

My school embraces new technology and has developed several software, namely 12 Android apps and an interactive website, to teach English and math. Some of my friends and I have helped the school create the algorithm for the apps. Some others have helped in the process by testing and maintaining the software.

Helping our school develop those apps has certainly given us a better understanding of technology. I know that computers are taught in other schools as a subject.  Students are cursorily taken to the computer lab once a week, tests are conducted on pen and paper. But nothing compensates for working with technology hands-on. That’s what we do in our school. We get our hands dirty, we make mistakes, we goof-up, but in the end, we create and we learn.